I was one of those children who hated vegetables. I still remember how I would only eat a very small group of vegetables: beans, beansprouts, carrots and cauliflower. No leafy greens ever made it onto my plate. Surprisingly, my mum would never force me to eat them – she would offer them to me, and if I said no, that was it. Turns out my mum hated vegetables when she was a child, but then grew up to love them… and she figured that I would be the same. And how right she was!
From being a terrible child who only ate a very limited amount of vegetables, I have turned into someone who loves them. I happily eat almost any vegetable now (with the exception of okra which I simply can’t like), which I sometimes find hard to believe. Funny how things pan out, really. Thinking back, I’m very glad I was never “forced” to eat my portion of veg when growing up, as I suspect it would have made me hate them forever. (Please note that this does not mean I advocate not eating your greens when you’re young though!)
But why am I telling you this seemingly unrelated story of my childhood? Well, because of this dish. Beef and broccoli noodles to be exact. Broccoli was one of the major “no no’s” in the younger me, but is now something I eat on a regular basis. When cooked well, broccoli tastes absolutely amazing. But overcook it and you end up with a pile of green mush that no vege lover in the world would want to eat.
I tend to cook my broccoli the “Heston” way – see this article for more details. The broccoli is cooked in minimal amounts of hot smoking oil, and then covered with a pot cover to allow steam to build up and cook it all the way through. I like his method because it not only tastes a lot nicer, but also means you retain the nutrients within the broccoli (which you lose via boiling).
This beef and broccoli noodle dish is inspired by this recipe from Steamy Kitchen. Sometimes you see a photo of a dish, and you immediately know you *must* try it because you know it will be amazingly delicious. The first time I saw the photo for this dish on Jaden’s blog: that was one of these moments. And I was right, because this is so so good. On another note, I challenge you to look at Jaden’s photos of this dish and NOT want to lick your screen. I assure you it is quite impossible. My photos look so amateurish compared to hers! Oh well.
I didn’t follow the exact recipe because, well – that’s me. Instead of using stock in the sauce making process, I add extra oyster sauce/rice wine/soy sauce to make up for it. I also use lots of black pepper because I enjoy the extra kick it provides.
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 5 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 500g frying steak/beef sirloin (cut into 3cm x 5cm pieces)*
- 600g fresh noodles (I used 2 x 300g packets)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely diced
- 400g tenderstem broccoli
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice wine in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and mix until completely dissolved. Add the sesame oil and beef, and mix well. Marinate for 20 minutes. Drain and discard the excess marinade.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles until 1 minute shy of being done, and drain.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a pan or wok over high heat, and stir-fry the garlic until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
4. Add the beef to the pan and stir-fry until tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove onto a plate and set aside.
5. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and stir fry the tenderstem broccoli for 2 minutes. (You’re aiming for half cooked broccoli at this point)
6. Add the remaining soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice wine to the pan.
7. Add the noodles, and stir to ensure the noodles are coated with the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of liquid is absorbed.
8. Return the beef to the pan, mix with the noodles and broccoli.
9. Season with freshly ground black pepper (to taste), and serve.
* you can cut them into smaller pieces (1cm x 3cm), but remember to reduce the cooking time accordingly